Canadian Music Week 2014: Our Guide

It’s a little warmer this year as we embark on the 2014 edition of Canadian Music Week, the annual festival that brings together artists, fans and industry experts for a week of conferences, awards and performances.  With over 1,000 performances to choose from, how on earth do you get started?

Easy:  leave it to the blogosphere to point you in the right direction.

This list is by no means exhaustive.  There are far too many great talents out there this year for us to list them all and in all honestly, Team OTM has their genre preferences.  That said, we feel that our little rundown will point you in the direction of artists you may enjoy — and conversely, associated showcases where you will feel most at home.

Need to try before you buy?  As always, you can rely on Show Gopher, an idea so brilliant we wish we’d thought of it ourselves.


Recommended Showcase:  For one-stop, rocking good times, hit Tattoo for a night that’s brimming with riffs, including The C’mons, The Dirty Nil and The Reason.  Alternately, Come As You Are is a showcase tribute to Nirvana featuring the likes of Sloan, July Talk and DIANA.

Feeling a little mellow or acoustic?:  You can check out the Julian Taylor Band at Hideout, or the Blue Sky Miners at Silver Dollar.

Already smashed at 8pm?: Then you’re ready for the hilarious drunk rock stylings of High Heels Lo Fi, featuring our very own photographer Joseph as a go-go dancer!

Feeling like a powerhouse female vocalist?:  Check out GRAY at Charlie’s Gallery!

Night Owl Specials:  For those of you who never sleep like the evil girl in The Ring, Cat Thomson at Czehoski, AHI at Cameron House or MIMI CRY at Cherry Cola’s should be up your alley for a musical nightcap.


Recommended Showcase:  Limited wristband access alert!  Brody Dalle headlines the Horseshoe with locals The Box Tiger rocking you out of the workday doldrums.  A guaranteed stellar evening!

Feeling a little experimental with your indie?: Animalia delivers at The Painted Lady, while Aussies Audego bring their Portishead-kissed sound to The Gladstone.

Want to dance, groove and party hard for Hump Day?:  You have many great choices tonight!  Fitness Club Fiasco has your spirited electronic pop at the Baltic; Adi Ulmansky is ready to break it down at The Gladstone; and OTM faves Goodnight, Sunrise rock Charlie’s Gallery.

Night Owl Specials:  Rock duo The Standstills melt faces at the Bovine; GRAY has an encore at Czehoski; and Mosely punk-pops you to sleep at Cherry Cola’s.


Recommended Showcase:  A solid bet to bunker down with tonight is the showcase at the Underground Garage, featuring the rock goodness of Weekend Riot Club and Fake Shark – Real Zombie!

Feeling electronic or experimental?:  Many great options tonight! How about Pooma at The Dakota Tavern, LYON at Adelaide Hall or DIANA at The Drake?

Rock me, OTM!:  Well, if you missed Goodnight, Sunrise yesterday, they’re blowing up Rancho Relaxo tonight. You could also have a little pop in your rock with Paint while you’re there.  Alternately, Amy Hef has you covered at Supermarket.  Feeling classic?  Teenage Head perform at their book release at The Great Hall.

Night Owl Specials:  For Esmé plays the Hard Luck Bar, while Sleepy Sun helps you unwind at The Dakota Tavern.


Recommended Showcase:  The Fanfest at Kool Haus, featuring Tegan and Sara and Ellie Goulding, is a surefire choice for those who enjoy indie folk and pop.  You can always take your chances on City and Colour and Half Moon Run at the ACC, as well.

Feeling alt-rock, prog or experimental?:  Locals Future History perform a special acoustic set at Cameron House; Lovely Quinces inhabit the Free Times Cafe with their unique flavour; and Gdansk plays an early set at Charlie’s Gallery.

Rock me more, OTM!:  The Horseshoe has a solid line-up tonight, including local all-stars The Balconies and The Honeyrunners.

Night Owl Specials:  Venture to the Underground Garage for Open AIR and Tupelo Honey.


The final night of the fest is completely jammed with goodness!

Recommended Showcase:  Feeling celebratory?  Tonight’s the night of the Sirius XM Indies!  Featuring performances by Little Dragon, The Hidden Cameras, Hollerado, The Strumbellas and more!

Where the hell is the metal at this fest?:  If you are a metalhead like our resident expert Dan, then you’re probably already aware of Mastodon at Sound Academy.  If not… you’re very, very welcome for the tip.  Heads up: this is a concert lottery performance.

Prefer a little more low-key of a night?:  Swing by The Drake for Chloe Charles, or settle in at the Lounge Bar in the Marriott for Lovely QuincesCrissi Cochrane and Aaron Wright.  Motel Raphael are also a great selection at Silver Dollar.

Night Owl Specials:  Wildlife takes the stage at midnight at Adelaide Hall, Adam Baldwin is on late at the Horseshoe, and Navy Skies is at Rancho. Not ready to stop rocking? Breached hits the Rivoli stage at 2:30am.

For info on ticketing and wristbands, head to the CMW site right now!  And stay tuned as OTM ventures forth into the welcome chaos of Canadian Music Week 2014!


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